I got to be part of an amazing conversation with some friends recently. It was one of those conversations that shifts paradigms.
Who’s seen the movie “The Kid” starring Bruce Willis? It’s the story of a 40-ish man who meets and gets to hang out with his 8-year-old self. Somehow we began chatting about this movie, and then we began to wonder what we’d say if we could talk to a former version of ourselves. We all shared about the things some former version of ourselves needed to hear. For example, I would tell my 14-year old self things like: you are valuable; though you’re the only stepchild of three children, you are just as important as your siblings; you belong; you’re not invisible; you’re accepted.
It was an emotional conversation. We wished and hoped that we could have somehow helped our former selves and unravel knots that still affect us today. We wished and hoped that God could somehow have healed us from the pain we endured then, thereby helping our present selves.
We dug deeper into thoughts about time and God. We shared snippets of things we’d heard or thought or felt.
- One of us shared a story she’d heard: God showed a man a vision of a moment in his childhood when he was wounded by someone he loved. The person had since died–but in this vision, the person apologized for wounding him as a child.
- Another of us shared about a story in the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. In it, Donald was trying to comfort a family member who had lost her father. He told her that they were all together in heaven already with her father, because heaven is outside of time.
- Another shared a vivid childhood memory of being at church with her mother. A few years ago, God reminded her of that day. He shared that He had been there in that moment, looking down on her and thinking joyfully about the day of her salvation more than 20 years later.
After these stories, we began to wonder:
God exists outside of time; we know this from the teachings in the Bible. So … if God can see/use time as the thing it truly is (not linear, but something else), if He can place Himself in or out of it, or use it as a tool to accomplish His will and serve His purposes … then why do we restrict our prayers to the future? Why shouldn’t we pray, today, for the hurting and struggling versions of ourselves that only God–unbound by these earthly restrictions–can reach?
If we could do this … what results would we see today? Imagine! Go ahead!